So you promised yourself that you would limit yourself to just one hot dog, two bites of potato salad and one small slice of cherry pie during a Memorial Day barbeque. Or maybe you made a pact with yourself to focus on the turkey and vegetables, but spent more time hovering over grandma’s pies. Now you’re wondering how will you ever undue some of the damage you just devoured.
Not to worry! Even though you’ve been hard at work preparing for bikini season or to reach a year-end weight loss goal, we have five surefire ways to get you right back on track with your healthy living plans.
1) Don’t Starve: Resist the temptation to fast the day following your holiday binge. You run the risk of sending your metabolism on a roller coaster ride and you also set yourself up for another gorge fest. Instead, opt for reducing the amount of calories and portions of food while increasing the frequency of when you eat. Aim for five small meals a day at about 200 – 300 calories each.
2) Load up on fiber and protein: Think leafy salads with lean protein, egg white omelets mixed with bell pepper and grilled salmon paired with steamed broccoli. The fiber will help boost digestion and both protein and fiber may make your body work just a bit harder to digest, therefore giving your metabolism an extra nudge.
3) Sweat: Not only will exercise make you feel so much better physically and mentally but the burst of activity will reduce bloat and kick your metabolism into high gear. But rather than one long 40-minute run at the same pace, consider interval training. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that exercising at a high intensity improved the body’s ability to burn fat. A rule of thumb is to exercise hard enough for one to four minutes so that you’re out of breath, recover for 3-5 minutes and repeat again.
4) Eat Clean: This probably won’t be too hard after consuming a few plates of processed dishes, but committing yourself to eating a whole foods diet for one to three days following your holiday feast will help you clear out your system and give your body the nutrients it needs. Try oatmeal and berries for breakfast, salads, steamed greens and lean and plain proteins for the rest of day.
5) Flush Out Bloat: Sip green tea throughout the day in order to keep hunger at bay and give your metabolism and health a jump. A study in the International Journal of Obesity showed that green tea extract increased calorie and fat burning needed to lose weight. Green tea also contains powerful antioxidants which may help to reduce risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Keep in mind that it takes 3,500 calories to gain one pound. While consuming that much is quite easy to do on food-filled holidays like Memorial Day, cutting back on calories and portion size and revving up your exercise routine for a few days will put your right back in line with your diet goals.
May 21st, 2009